OnePlus knows how to buildup to a major launch. Opening pre-orders days before its announcement, it may have stolen the thunder of the reveal itself but the phone itself is finally here.
And the maker of the fourth-iteration of the ultimate bang-for-your-buck handset is taking a different approach. Don’t get us wrong, OnePlus 5 is still cheaper than most flagships in this age. However, the differentiation is based more on the experience, and primarily on the camera at that.
Unfortunately the price is higher than before, starting at $480 for the 64 GB model.
Design and Display
OnePlus 5 is the slimmest phone from its maker to date, having a waistline of only 7.25mm and constructed with a single aluminum block. The design, as a lot of people would notice, has an iPhone 7 Plus vibe, thanks to the dual camera setup on the back of the phone. It will be available in Slate Gray or Midnight Black colors.
The display on the front is a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED panel with 1080p resolution. Surprisingly, the display was also one of the least-talked major aspects of the OnePlus 5, even though it supports DCI-P3, which is the format most common in use within Hollywood, and is very accurate in terms of color accuracy.
It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
Internals and Storage
Under the hood, you get Snapdragon’s greatest in the octa-core 835 chipset. While OnePlus 3 helped trigger RAM-based competition, the 5 furthers it even more to an 8 GB option, though, there’s still 6 GB RAM in the base model.
Then, you also get either 64 or 128 GB of internal UFS 2.1 dual-lane storage, which is 26-percent faster than before. There’s a dual Nano-SIM slot, too, as well as support for 34 different bands for near-global coverage.
For connectivity, you have USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE-Advanced, NFC and 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi ac. There’s also a 0.2s fingerprint scanner, as well as an RGB Notification LED.
The OS running is Android Nougat with Oxygen OS, which brings special modes such as Gaming Do Not Disturb (prevents intrusions during gameplay), Reading Mode (filters blue light, optimizes for gray-scale mapping), and Secure Box (helps fingerprint/password protect particular files). It also learns which apps you use more often and launches them faster.
In line with the ongoing trend, OnePlus has upgraded the camera here to a two-lens Sony-made setup. The first is a 16 MP sensor with EIS (gyro), f/1.7, and 1.12 µm pixel size. The second is a 20 MP lens with f/2.6 and PDAF.
As one would expect, there are particular features such as Portrait Mode, which softens the background to put more emphasis on the subject, Pro Mode for even more control over snapshots, and Smart Capture which automatically aligns picture settings for novice users.
The front camera is also a 16 MP Sony IMX 371 sensor with 1 µm pixels, f/2.0 and EIS (gyro).
Battery and Pricing
OnePlus 5’s design hasn’t affected its battery one bit. In fact, it is said to have improved by 20% over the 3T. The 3300 mAh battery also supports Dash Charge, which provides a day’s worth charge in half an hour, while also being cooler than most other fast-charging solutions.
Price has always been a major point in OnePlus’s favor, but the company has gone the Nexus 6 way with the new phone. Starting at $479 for the entry-level model, and $539 for the 8 GB RAM version, the phone has moved away from being the ultimate hardware provider on a budget (a position which safely belongs to Xiaomi for the time being).
What it does achieve this time finally is a no compromise solution. While OnePlus phones of the past have tended to rely on pricing as a publicity tool, this year OnePlus is proving how good it has become at making phones. And so far, it is working.
OnePlus 5 Specifications
- CPU: 4x 2.45 GHz Kryo & 4x 1.9 GHz Kryo
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- GPU: Adreno 540
- OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat customized with OxygenOS
- Supported Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
- RGB Notification LED
- Dirac HD sound
- Fingerprint scanner
- Display: 5.5-inch AMOLED with 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution
- DCI-P3 and sRGB support
- RAM: 6/8 GB LPDDRX
- Internal: 64/128 GB UFS 2.1
- Card slot: no
- Primary: Dual 16 MP, f/1.7, EIS (gyro) + 20 MP, f/2.6, phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, dual-LED flash
- Secondary: 16 MP, f/2.0, EIS (gyro)
- Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE-A, 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi ac, GPS, NFC, headphone jack
- Battery: 3300 mAh, Dash Charge supported
- Price: $479 (64 GB, 6 GB), $539 (128 GB, 8 GB)